Well, true to form the “everyday in October” thing fizzled out! October did turn out to be a very productive month though – largely due to the procrastination factor kicking in big-time.
There are a few new Imperfect Critters:
The Sourdough jar has been relegated to the fridge in the Shed, but still calls out for attention every few days. We were getting buried under mountains of bread and my backup bread eaters have gone East for a couple of weeks.
I found an old recipe for a Coffee, Fig & Fennel bread – originally “Oxfam Fair Coffee Bread” by Simon Bryant, and made a few adaptations – using the sourdough for starters. Of course, in the intro it says “makes 2 loaves”, but further along the recipe doesn’t mention that, so guess who made one GINORMOUS loaf?
It ended up being pretty delicious anyway. I had bought some almost glacè figs, planning on making a Christmas Cake so used them – chopping them and soaking in a cup of black coffee (our machine grinds fresh beans for each cup – and our super smooth coffee beans from CH’NO in Brisbane added just the right flavour). https://www.facebook.com/ChnoEspresso/ .
The drained coffee / fig liquid then goes into the bread mix, along with olive oil (another friend’s amazing Portuguese organic olive oil), and fennel seeds. After the dough has risen, had its second kneading, and rested, the coffee-soaked figs are folded through before the loaf (should be loaves) is shaped, brushed over with olive oil and some more fennel seeds sprinkled on top. You can imagine how good this is with a soft cheese…
And – it’s Mulberry Jam time – which is seriously a labour of love. Picking the mulberries with a broken big toe (picture me teetering on the stepladder – or maybe don’t!!), then cutting all those little stems off – and then the inconsequential yield!! 1.5kg (a big bowl) of mulberries, yielded 3 x 500gm jars!! The physics of it has me intrigued – how nearly 3kg of ingredients ends up being 1.5kg – a lot of water boils off I guess!
And then 2-3 days later, another couple of kg ripe – so hopefully over time, there will be a few jars of jam for the stall.
A few blueberries grew on my plants out the back. Just before my little grandson ate the lot, some jumped into one batch of the mulberry jam. I have recently found a local supplier of huge delicious Blueberries that put my little sour ones to shame, so breakfast time is now full of antioxidants, no need to scrimp : ). What’s not to love about Berry season!!
Just before the last week of Uni (yep – assignments due and tests that week), there was a weekend full of Soap Stalls and a Poetry event. We are down as a regular at the Randwick Stables “Mercatino” https://www.facebook.com/RandwickCommunityGarden/. Such a delightful place to be! As well as the soap, knitted critters and marmalade, I brought along – and sold out of – Mulberry Jam and Macadamia / Salted Caramel / Choc slice (need I say more…)
Oh – and because I have been distracted in a thousand directions except the one I was supposed to be in – I had my first soap boil-over!! Luckily got there in time to mostly rescue it, and the soap is fine.
And luckily also – the assignments are in, and the test is done, and I’m now a lady of leisure!!
At some point I will certainly need to think about finding a job – but I’m having too much fun!! Work was never so productive.
If you ever want a real version of a recipe, let me know – although I do a bit make it up as I go, happy to give you the bones and you can flesh it out as you like…
Happy days to you – we are still waiting for the sun to get serious!
Sarah & the Sleepy Supervisor x